Meningitis: Vaccine cost cripples response to outbreak

Airtel Nigeria Call services
Social sharing

Nigeria does not have enough vaccine doses to deal with a deadly meningitis outbreak because they are too expensive, a senior official has said.

Each vaccine dose costs $50, and only 500,000 doses are currently available, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, head of Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control said.

The outbreak which is said to be spreading rapidly has already killed more than 300 people.

It is the worst to hit Nigeria since 2009 when it killed 156 people.

Since December, 2,524 cases including 328 deaths have been reported from across the country.

The predominant type of meningitis causing the outbreak is type C, which is unusual.

Nigeria, which lies on the meningitis belt, stretching from the Sahel region to the Horn of Africa, is used to type A meningitis outbreaks.

“The government has mounted a significant response which will culminate in a broad vaccination campaign in the epicentre of the outbreak which is Zamfara state in north-west of Nigeria,” Dr Chikwe told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

More doses ‘needed’

“For this meningitis C, there is no widely available vaccine globally and the one that is available is extremely expensive.”

Nigeria applied to a global stock held by the World Health Organization and 500,000 doses were released to the country.

But the scale of the outbreak means more doses are needed, with an additional stock of 800,000 expected to be shipped from the UK.

Over the weekend, the government urged Nigerians not to panic, noting that the epidemic is not unique to Nigeria.

Cases are reported in neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Togo and Burkina Faso, the health ministry said.



Be the first to comment

Leave your comment

UBA Bank
  • Cardi B Explains Why She Is Filling For divorce From Her Husband, Offset

    Social sharing

    Social sharingAmerican rapper, Cardi B, has explained why she is filling for divorce from her Migos rapper husband, Offset. The rapper gave the explanation via Read more

  • Wizkid to Drop ‘Made In Lagos’ Album Soon

    Social sharing

    Social sharingNigerian music sensation, Ayodeji Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid, is set to release his long awaited album titled ‘Made In Lagos’. Although the singer Read more

  • BBNaija: “It Was A Sad Moment For Me” – Erica Writes About Her Disqualification

    Social sharing

    Social sharing“It was a sad moment for me” Erica Nlewedim writes in first Instagram post since being disqualified from the Big Brother Naija reality show. Read more

  • BREAKING!!Nigerian lesbian movie “Ife” dares Censors Board, set for release

    Social sharing

    Social sharing Nigerian lesbian movie “Ife” produced by Pamela Adie and directed by Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim is set for release despite stern warning from Nigerian Film Read more

  • Nollywood Actress Chika Ike, Replies Regina Daniels’ Mother, “I’m Not Ready To Be 7th Wife To Ned Nwoko.”

    Social sharing

    Social sharing I’m not about to become anyone’s 7th wife – Chika Ike sets the record straight on dating Regina Daniels’ husband, Ned Nwoko Nollywood Read more